I will eat you... unless you are in my pack.
Cali after getting her flea medicine and bath. She does this every time we give her flea medicine.
I found Cali through an online ad, listing her as a "farm dog" who didn't want to farm anymore. She was 1.5 when we got her, as a single mom with 2, I thought she would make the perfect fit. She went to live with a man when she was just a pup, who allegedly abused her (hence her mistrust of men), and returned to the original owner I acquired her from. Cali is nearly 7 now, and has adapted pretty well. Cali doesn't weigh nearly as much as she should, but is in better shape than she was when we first got her. She was a whopping 44 lbs. I tried everything to get weight on her, finally reaching a maximum of 68 lbs. She was originally sold as a "pure bred" great pyr. The barking has nearly driven me insane, but we've stuck through it and will continue to do so. After all - that leaf blowing down the street did look kind of intimidating!
The first year, or two... we definitely had some wandering issues. The kids let her outside a few times, the babysitter lost her, I've lost her. She's quite the great little escape artist! Living in a small town, I was quite worried that she would take herself for walks every now and again - but she never failed to return after a walk around the block the route that I taught her. She sure has a great sense of direction. When Cali was about 4, we got her a fur brother. I felt that she was getting bored, and needed a friend for when I worked and the kids were in school. At first, I didn't know how she would take to this little thing the size of her head pulling at her curled tail, nipping at her paws and denying her sleep - but Cali is pretty passive when it comes to Keenu picking at her!
It wasn't until we bought a bigger house, with a bigger yard that we really noticed how protective Cali was becoming of the family. She has only taken herself and our boxer Keenu around town since we moved here, and she abandoned him in a furniture shop parking lot.. Thanks Cal! She became a "garage dog" basically. When we are gone to work / school, both Cali and Keenu hang out in the garage to prevent Keenu's destructive behavior from upsetting the kids. I'm sure our daughter would be thrilled if he ate ANOTHER one of her monster highs... boxers.. sigh ;) . Cali prefers the garage, with the concrete floor to lay on; however it is necessary now to keep Cali in the garage when we have visitors.
Our once kind, and gentle Cali got a scare from the neighbor the first week we moved in. A pre-teen playing with our daughter, who had never met Cali was chasing our daughter around the yard when our daughter took off in the house. The pre-teen followed, only to be greeted by our big white fluff ball with teeth showing. Cali bit the boy. She has never been the same since. Our loving, and passive dog.. whom my kids lay with all the time, whom my kids can hang off and hug, and kiss has now protects at any means necessary. We're working on re-socializing her, and teaching her to trust people again. She's pretty headstrong, and in her mind she's doing the right thing by trying to protect her home and pack. We trust her with our children, they are her pack - but when other children are playing outside we have to take her in, just in case.
Cali is my life. She is part of my family just as much as my children are. We live in a small town, which is obviously not ideal for the typical great pyr but for our gal it seems to work just fine. She loves to laze around, and live the life of a house dog - though she thoroughly enjoys her walks, car drives, and beach visits. When she's not on walks, drives or at the beach.. Cali really just prefers to live her life alone, sleeping/resting on her blanket in the garage. She likes her solitary life, and avoids the chaos in our home. The kids, boxer, and birds get too annoying for her I guess, she just wants to retreat to her quiet, happy, cool place :)